quarta-feira, 31 de março de 2010
segunda-feira, 29 de março de 2010
Visivelmente, os La Fura dels Baus abandonaram a estética deplorável - que os acompanhou anos a fio -, assente na crueza (dilaceração, fragmentação). Devem ter recorrido à psicanálise, que lhe permitiu elaborar os fantasmas primitivos! Desde o Der Ring de Valência que, aos meus olhos, os catalães redescobriram a estética depurada!
Segundo reza a crónico, a encenação deste Tannhäuser milanês é um portento!
«(...) se ha presentado La Fura dels Baus, versión Carlus Padrissa, en La Scala con una obra de Wagner. Ni Goya ni La Fura dejan indiferentes, pero la polémica se ha inclinado en esta ocasión del lado operístico. Paradójicamente, Padrissa y su equipo se han volcado con esta nueva producción wagneriana con Zubin Mehta de responsable musical. Tal vez de esa fructífera identificación entre Mehta y Padrissa provenga una de las cuestiones más difíciles de aceptar por el público operístico tradicional: la ambientación del wagneriano Tannhäuser en la India y concretamente en el Rajastán. Lo justifica Padrissa por la pervivencia actual de los peregrinos a orillas del Ganges, en una atmósfera espiritual de resonancias medievales, más auténticamente pura, si se quiere, que las peregrinaciones religiosas de nuestros días en el mundo occidental. Además, la explosión colorista de los naranjas, amarillos, fucsias, del vestuario oriental, daba a la representación un tono explosivamente sensual y estéticamente bellísimo. La estructura dramatúrgica se mantiene a la perfección y el personaje central se debate entre el deseo carnal y el ansia espiritual, mostrándose el conflicto con criterios de universalidad y transparencia narrativa. ¿Dónde salta, pues, el conflicto? Pues seguramente en el deseo de mostrar el mundo moderno de India y, en concreto, en la inclusión de unas coreografías bollywoodienses en pleno concurso de los maestros cantores de Wartburg. Es la única nota de humor que el espectáculo tiene. Un sector del público no se lo perdonó a La Fura.
La bacanal del comienzo de la ópera, una escena tan dada a los excesos, transcurre con un esteticismo estilizado, fruto de una combinación de imágenes de vídeos, alusiones acuáticas y grupos de desnudos en combinaciones elegantes, con unos cuerpos de mujer deslumbrantes. Una mano robotizada de Roland Olbeter, de 11 metros de altura, con significados varios, actúa de hilo conductor. A veces es la fuerza del destino, otras es la mano acusadora del Papa, subrayada con unas breves imágenes de su visita a Nicaragua y su desencuentro con Ernesto Cardenal. El trabajo videográfico de Franc Aleu es sencillamente apabullante, tanto tecnológica como creativamente. En cuanto al vestuario de Chu Uroz es colosal en colorido y manejo de los brillos. Con todos ellos, la estética galáctica y poética de La Fura luce en todo su esplendor. Escenas como la lluvia de hojas otoñales al comienzo del tercer acto o la bajada de los cielos de las lavanderas al lago formado por las lágrimas de amor de Elisabeth son verdaderamente inolvidables.
El director Zubin Mehta, como en él es habitual, realizó una lectura extrovertida y "mediterránea", llena de luces, colores y contrastes, en las antípodas de los planteamientos más reflexivos e interiorizados que utiliza en sus acercamientos a Wagner otro director habitual de La Scala como Barenboim. La orquesta del teatro respondió espléndidamente, 24 horas después de una prestación colosal de Desde la casa de los muertos, de Janacek, con Esa Pekka Salonen. Tiene mucho mérito esa flexibilidad.
Embora Thebom fosse um mezzo verdiano de assinalável qualidade, foi em Wagner que mais se destacou, particularmente no Met, nos idos anos 1940 - 1960.
«Blanche Thebom, a mezzo-soprano who was discovered singing in a shipboard lounge as a teenager and went on to sing more than 350 performances with the Metropolitan Opera, died on Tuesday at her home in San Francisco. She was 94.
In a field long dominated by Europeans, Ms. Thebom (pronounced THEE-bom, with the th as in thin) was part of the first, midcentury wave of American opera singers to attain international careers. Associated with the Met from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, she was praised by critics for her warm voice, attentive phrasing and sensitive acting.
Ms. Thebom was best known for Wagner. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Philadelphia in November 1944 as Brangäne in an out-of-town production of “Tristan und Isolde”; the next month she appeared with the company in New York, singing Fricka in “Die Walküre.”
At the Met, her other roles included Ortrud in Wagner’s “Lohengrin,” Azucena in Verdi’s “Trovatore” and Amneris in his “Aida,” and the title role in Bizet’s “Carmen.” She also sang at Covent Garden and the Glyndebourne festival in England.
In 1957, presented by the impresario Sol Hurok, Ms. Thebom made a three-week tour of the Soviet Union. (There, as The Times wrote afterward, “the singer was surprised to find that her mink coat was a traffic stopper wherever she went.”) Her engagements included a Carmen with the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow.
Ms. Thebom last performed at the Met in 1967. She later directed the opera program at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock, and afterward moved to San Francisco, where she taught privately and helped create a training program for young singers.
Blanche Thebom was born on Sept. 19, 1915, in Monessen, Pa., and reared in Canton, Ohio; the year of her birth is often given erroneously as 1918. Her parents immigrated from Sweden. As a girl, she sang in a church choir.
While still a teenager, Ms. Thebom traveled to Sweden with her parents in the 1930s. On the crossing, she was heard singing in the ship’s lounge by Kosti Vehanen, a pianist who often accompanied the contralto Marian Anderson. Mr. Vehanen arranged for Blanche to study in New York, where her primary teacher was Edyth Walker, a former Metropolitan Opera mezzo.
Her recordings include Mozart’s “Così Fan Tutte,” in which she sings Dorabella, on the Sony Classical label, and albums of songs by Hugo Wolf and Robert Schumann for RCA Victor. She appeared in films, among them “Irish Eyes Are Smiling” (1944) and “The Great Caruso” (1951).
Ms. Thebom’s career seemed ordained from the moment she stepped onto the New York stage. Making her recital debut at Town Hall in January 1944, she sang a program of Massenet, Handel, Mussorgsky and Brahms.
domingo, 28 de março de 2010
The brothers were the offspring of the composer's son Siegfried and his British-born wife, Winifred Williams, who had gone from Hastings to live with her musical, antisemitic Klindworth adoptive parents in Berlin at the age of nine, in 1908. Nonetheless, Wolfgang never spoke English, and his German was not easy to follow even for his compatriots – since he preferred, eccentrically, to stick to his local dialect.
In 1976, the centenary year of The Ring, he surprised many by abruptly divorcing his wife Ellen after 33 years of apparently contented life together. He and Wieland had both married dancers from Heinz Tietjen's ballet troupe during the second world war. Wolfgang's second wife was a long-standing member of the Bayreuth press office and programme department, Gudrun Armann who had been the wife of Dietrich Mack, joint editor of his grandmother Cosima Wagner's diaries; Gudrun died in 2007.
Wolfgang believed in tradition – though he was also ferociously hostile to the younger generation of Wagners: there were a dozen, all of whom he eventually excluded from any professional association with the Festspielhaus until the unexpected death of Gudrun necessitated an altered succession plan. His poisonous relations with the children of his first wife, his daughter Eva Pasquier and especially his son Gottfried, made the issue of the succession considerably more fraught – though eventually a deal emerged whereby Eva and Katharina, his daughter by Gudrun, shared the job of running the festival, in the same way that he and Wieland had shared management of the reconstruction of Bayreuth after the second world war. It is too early to say whether that scheme will satisfy those now exercising responsibility for the public financing of Bayreuth.
The resurrection of the festival after the second world war was by no means automatic. Wolfgang, born in Bayreuth, studied the trumpet and French horn before being called up in 1939. He fought on the Polish front, but was invalided out with a wounded hand and treated in the Charité hospital in Berlin, where he was frequently visited by Adolf Hitler. Discharged from the army, Wolfgang served his operatic apprenticeship in Bayreuth and at the Berlin Staatsoper – getting the chance also, as did Wieland, to mount operas by their father Siegfried in regional houses. Richard Wagner's wooden Festspielhaus survived the bombing, but Wahnfried, Wagner's Bayreuth home, now a museum, received a direct hit.
The restoration of the festival was problematical, and not just financially. Wolfgang's instinct for local politics was fundamental to the success of the business. It conveniently turned out that, as a schoolboy, he had nurtured friendships with many who became leading lights of the town after the war.
Even now the ethos of Bayreuth continues to be contaminated to an extent by the fervent involvement of Wolfgang's mother, Winifred, with the Führer. The so-called New Bayreuth style of production and design made the denazified festival after 1951 at least appear radically different: the visual emphasis now was to be on stylised costumes shorn of such traditional German elements as winged and horned helmets, while scenery suggested an abstract world created by stage lighting rather than the grand old trappings of German mythology.
That impression admittedly owed far more to the theatrical genius of the older brother, Wieland. Wolfgang's productions, though he initially followed Wieland's style in festival stagings of Lohengrin (1953), Der Fliegende Holländer (1955), Tristan und Isolde (1957) and Der Ring des Nibelungen (1960), were comparatively efficient but unremarkable. The rivalry between Wieland and Wolfgang in the 1960s actually kept the younger sibling out of directing further stagings at Bayreuth until Wieland's death. Wolfgang's administrative skill crucially underpinned Wieland's acknowledged artistic achievement. Wolfgang's theatre work was not artistically significant, though it went along with Wieland's inspired contributions well enough. Wolfgang's subsequent work away from Bayreuth, as well as in the festival context, was efficient, conservative and of no special artistic interest.
Wolfgang was always the more practical of the two brothers, with a considerable flair for management and money. Once in sole command after 1966, he started to give rein to his instinct as an impresario, with variable but sometimes fabulous results. His first choice of outsider was typically cautious – the conservative director August Everding. His next was the East German Götz Friedrich, whose Tannhäuser in 1972 introduced the communist clenched-fist salute to the hallowed Bayreuth stage, as the Pilgrims expressed solidarity, and caused suitably deep offence to the semi-Nazi old guard among the Bayreuth supporters' club (including Winifred, of course; she died in 1980).
It was probably because he knew his own limitations as a director that Wolfgang soon acquired a wise and healthy taste for alternative ways of putting his grandfather's operas on stage. His own later efforts included a second Lohengrin, another Ring cycle, two Parsifals, two Meistersingers and a Tannhäuser. He also continued to direct Wagner operas elsewhere. But it was above all his inspired engagement of Patrice Chéreau to direct the centenary Ring in 1976 that proved historic.
The original plan had been to engage Ingmar Bergman. Then Wolfgang approached the notable German director Peter Stein – who gave up on the project in September 1974, at a very late stage indeed, forced out by Wolfgang's refusal to allow the director to abandon for his production the orchestra-pit cover which ensured the famous Bayreuth sound. Pierre Boulez's sister Jeanne was responsible for bringing the name of the brilliant French director to her brother's, and ultimately to Wolfgang's, attention. None of Chéreau's theatrical work had ever been seen either by Wolfgang or by Boulez, but Bayreuth once again seemed to be setting the style. A thrillingly new and politically overt approach to a 100-year-old epic made it into the most exciting theatrical place in the world.
None of this could remotely have been predicted in 1945. Richard Wagner's music still commanded a huge following. But the fact that Hitler had been such a devoted fan of the composer seemed like an indelible black mark – as if the young Dresden socialist composer's notorious antisemitic writings in the mid-19th century meant he would have wanted the 1940s Holocaust. Certainly, after the death of the composer's only son Siegfried in August 1930, following his mother Cosima's death that April, his 33-year-old widow Winifred passed up no opportunity for expressing her personal devotion to the Führer. It was also true that Hitler's love of Wagner – not shared by many of his henchmen – guaranteed the Bayreuth festival unprecedented security.
Winifred first met Hitler in 1923 when the future leader visited Wahnfried; on the same occasion Hitler met the racial theorist Houston Stewart Chamberlain who was married to Eva – Winifred's sister-in-law and the composer's daughter. Winifred notoriously never abandoned her devotion to Hitler – in 1976 making her views embarrassingly clear on camera to Hans Jürgen Syberberg. Though she conceded the Führer had "a dark side", she attributed the Holocaust to Julius Streicher and other Nazi officials whom she did not like. Bayreuth was a sort of cultural holiday camp for leading musically minded Nazis, a proximity to power that was Wolfgang's formative teenage experience.
However, the political issue was complicated. Winifred's conventional anti-semitism – for instance, blaming "New York Jews" for Toscanini's refusal to work at Bayreuth after 1933 – should be put in the context of her employment policy at Bayreuth, which ignored Nazi injunctions. The Wagners always considered the "party" rather beneath them and vulgar. Backstage at the festival in the 1930s there were social democrats as well as Nazis on the staff, and Jews too. Winifred's artistic policy in collaboration with Tietjen and Emil Preetorius was condemned as "liberal" and inauthentically progressive by ultra-conservatives of the old school, who naturally wanted no artistic changes, and were also all fully paid-up Nazis. Winifred's Bayreuth was genuinely progressive in theatrical tone and modernising in the new kinds of stage design to be seen there.
Though Winifred had joined the party in 1926, at Hitler's request, she later was to appeal directly to him on behalf of Jewish prisoners in concentration camps, and in connection with the arrest and threatened trial of Max Lorenz, her leading Siegfried, for homosexuality. As late as 1944, Bayreuth served the fatherland by supplying busloads of soldiers, war workers and Nazi hacks with Wagner. Winifred was puzzled by the fact that, as German prospects declined, Hitler preferred the terminal darkness of Götterdämmerung to the cheery cultural nationalism of Meistersinger.
Winifred underwent "denazification" in 1947. She had to formally assign the management of the festival and its assets to her two sons in 1949 on a shared basis – though Wieland mainly called the shots. Despite the indelible Nazi echoes, the two brothers managed rapidly to purify the festival, reverting to the artistic openness and progressivism that had characterised their mother's period in artistic charge.
The most remarkable aspect of Wolfgang's life, however, was his long- evity. What was most striking about his regime was its determined exclusion of any other Wagner from staging opera at Bayreuth. Even his daughter Eva, a professional expert on casting, had earlier been allowed only a very brief and limited association with the family business. In his 1994 autobiography, Acts, Wolfgang made plain his feelings about his relatives, including his own children. The role he played at Bayreuth resembled that of the giant Fafner in The Ring, sitting on treasure and denying anybody else access to it. Wieland's son Wolf-Siegfried, for instance, launched an abortive career as an opera director before taking to architecture and retiring to Majorca. Wieland's daughter Nike was a musicologist and academic with high credentials as a thoughtful critic of her great-grandfather's works and of the Wagner family's ways, who could have been a distinguished dramaturg of the festival. Wolfgang's son Gottfried, who of all the young Wagners physically most closely resembled the composer, made a career of trying to expurgate Wagnerian guilt for the crimes of anti-semitism: the breach with his father was unmeasurable.
Wolfgang, latterly with Gudrun's backing, pursued his wish that their daughter Katharina, born in 1978, should inherit Bayreuth. He made every effort to help her acquire practical experience as a director away from Bayreuth while still in her early 20s. The current compromise, with power shared between Eva and Katharina, may not prove durable or artistically competent. After falling ill following Gudrun's death, Wolfgang in effect ceased to play any significant role. Age and infirmity finally caught up with him.
sábado, 27 de março de 2010
A 21 de Março, com 90 primaveras, falece Wolfgang Wagner. Com grande pena minha, acrescento e sublinho.
Wolfgang sempre foi ofuscado pelo génio do irmão Wieland, cujas sublimes encenações mantêm, hoje como ontem, toda a actualidade e deslumbramento. Onde Wieland era criativo, Wolfgang era astuto e pragmático. Com punho de aço ou sem ele, Wolfgang geriu o Festival de Bayreuth sabiamente sendo, desde o prematuro falecimento do irmão, em 1966, o sumo farol do mesmo evento.
Provas da sua fantástica gestão? A dupla Boulez / Chéreau, que encenou o centenário d’O Anel, em 1976, trabalhou e criou, apenas e só, por Wolgang Wagner. Toda a nata da mise-en-scène que pisou Bayreuth, desde meados da década de 1960, fê-lo conduzida pelo hábil e astuto braço de Wolfgang. And so on...
Aqui para nós, fiel e paciente leitor, se os abomináveis cancros que têm passado pelo nosso São Carlos tivessem um décimo do talento de WW, outro galo cantaria na sala lisboeta!
É certo que as encenações do Senhor W. Wagner rapidamente passaram à história. E então? Gobbi, que era um intérprete genial, como metteur-en-scène, nunca saiu do anonimato...
Com ou sem talento artístico, mais ou menos ligado ao nazismo, prepotente ou não, Wolfgang Wagner era uma referência na gestão cultural. Indubitavelmente.
Paz à sua Alma.
«Mr. Wagner was considered an able administrator if a rather stolid opera director. (In 2001, The New Criterion called him the “supremely less talented” of Siegfried Wagner’s two sons.) Over the decades, he was described variously as a savior and a dictator.
(ensaio de Tannhäuser, Teatro alla Scala, Milão)
Por fim, os catalães La Fura dels Baus acedem à catedral da lírica europeia, ossia o Teatro alla Scala, por ocasião de uma nova produção de Tannhäuser (Wagner).
Em sintonia com o maestro Zubin Mehta, declaram os catalães:«"La identificación con Zubin Mehta es total. Con él cambio impresiones, discuto y recojo todas sus sugerencias. El punto de partida escénico de Tannhäuser salió precisamente de una conversación con él. Le pregunté cuál era su Venusberg ideal y me contestó que el de los colores intensos de las mujeres indias en los festivales del Rajhastán. Tres meses después fui con mi familia a Benarés y pude comprobar, rodeado de miles de peregrinos en las orillas del Ganges, no solamente la explosión y sensualidad de los colores a que hacía referencia Zubin, sino también que en India se conservan vivas las creencias y costumbres de la Edad Media. Era un lugar óptimo para ambientar Tannhäuser. Entre los letreros de anuncios luminosos y los antiguos templos, entre la industria de Bollywood y las peregrinaciones multitudinarias, se entremezclan eternamente los mundos del Wartburg y el Venusberg, el conflicto entre espiritualidad y deseo irracional al que Wagner hace referencia continuamente en esta ópera", explica.
Y prosigue: "En realidad lo que trato de mostrar es a Tannhäuser como un personaje universal, quiero hacer a través de él un homenaje a todos los grandes creadores que por diferentes motivos han vivido trágicamente entre el Venusberg y el Wartburg, entre la pasión y la razón espiritual. Es el caso de Marilyn Monroe, de Giordano Bruno, de Pasolini, de Schubert, de Janis Joplin, de Mozart, de John Lennon, de Dalí, de Modigliani y hasta del propio Wagner. La lista es interminable".»
sexta-feira, 26 de março de 2010
Damrau repete, repisa e revisita, clássicos do repertório ligeiro, spinto. Sem nada acrescentar, nem arriscar, limita-se a interpretar pobremente este território.
A técnica apresenta algumas hesitações, estando a voz menos redonda do que noutras ocasiões. Aqui e ali há laivos de estridência...
Apenas para incondicionais de Diana Damrau.
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terça-feira, 23 de março de 2010
domingo, 21 de março de 2010
Rei Édipo, em cena no D. Maria: TRIUNFO ABSOLUTO!
Infante propõe uma interpretação avassaladora, profunda, sofrida e amadurecida pela idade (maior), numa encenação arrojadíssima - Silva Melo -, com figurinos de um requinte blasé...
Há décadas que não via teatro desta nobreza e envergadura.
quinta-feira, 18 de março de 2010
terça-feira, 16 de março de 2010
domingo, 14 de março de 2010
Pouco mais que morno, este Wagner...
Seiffert, de fraseado elegante e timbre heróico, com uma bela figura, nos idos anos que iniciaram o século, era o maior rival de Ben Heppner. Ambos personificavam o heldentenor.
Na actualidade, Seiffert mantém o estilo, mas a pujança é coisa pretérita... O desgaste é notório, particularmente no descontrolo do vibrato.
Petra Maria Schnitzer, neste registo, oferece-nos interpretações banais, apoiadas numa técnica falível – a estridência e errância dos agudos... Sem estilo wagneriano – sem porte, nem veia romântica -, dilui-se num anonimato perpétuo... O timbre contém laivos de elegância, mas pouco mais.
Enfim, dir-se-ia tratar-se de um retrato wagneriano banal, protagonizado por dois artistas a dois passos do ocaso.
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sábado, 13 de março de 2010
Pessoalmente, parece haver uma mera transformação dos invólucros... Se há, ou não, melhorias na qualidade da difusão sonora dos registos, desconheço... O meu prosaico ouvido não é sensível à melhoria de qualidade apregoada pela empresa.
O ponto mais central prende-se com o engodo em que o incauto comprador pode cair: quase todos os registos que apresento abaixo já figuravam noutras colecções, mid-price, que incluíam os libretos. Pois saiba o respeitável leitor que esta “nova” reabilitação, não só não contém os ditos libretos, como é comercializada a preços que roçam o obsceno!
terça-feira, 9 de março de 2010
«Dix-neuf ouvrages lyriques seront donnés en 2010-2011 : sept nouvelles productions et douze reprises (dont l'indémodable Madame Butterfly vue par Bob Wilson, et les mythiques Noces de Figaro de Giorgio Strehler, reprises depuis 1973). Pour les nouveautés, on attendra tout particulièrement la suite du Ring de Wagner avec Siegfried et Le Crépuscule des dieux, mais aussi la création mondiale d'Akhmatova, l'opéra commandé à Bruno Mantovani, l'un de nos plus brillants compositeurs.
Le «Triptyque» de Puccini au répertoire
Pas toujours aussi conventionnel dans ses goûts qu'on veut bien le dire, Nicolas Joel continue d'explorer deux périodes qui lui tiennent à cœur : le XXe siècle italien avec la rare et puissante Francesca da Rimini de Zandonai avec Roberto Alagna et le magnifique Mathis le peintre de Hindemith avec Matthias Goerne. On ne peut que se réjouir de l'arrivée au répertoire du Triptyque de Puccini, sous la baguette du directeur musical, Philippe Jordan, qui dirigera aussi Les Noces de Figaro, Cosi fan tutte, Ariane à Naxos et les deux Wagner, rassurant ceux qui s'étaient inquiétés de sa faible présence la première saison.
Quant au baroque, il sera présent grâce au Jules César de Händel avec Natalie Dessay, promesse faite à Emmanuelle Haïm de la réinviter après l'incident d'Idoménée, avec cette fois ses musiciens du Concert d'Astrée. Côté superstars, enfin, on attendait le retour de Renée Fleming à Paris : elle sera Desdémone dans Otello.»
«One of the world's finest operatic tenors, Philip Langridge, has died aged 70. Tributes were led by the Royal Opera and the composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle, who called him a "unique artist-musician" who left "a large hole in the world's music".
Langridge appeared on all the world's great stages after his career began at Glyndebourne in 1964, in Richard Strauss's Capriccio. Before being taken ill he was on stage over Christmas at the Met in New York, enthusiastically baking children as a dragged-up Witch in Hansel and Gretel.
Langridge's repertoire was strikingly varied, but he also became closely associated with the works of Janacek, the big Britten roles such as Aschenbach and Peter Grimes and contemporary work, in particular Birtwistle.
He sang regularly at Covent Garden and the Coliseum but was in demand all over the world. The Royal Opera's director of opera, Elaine Padmore, said: "It was a huge shock when we heard very recently that Philip had cancer, and more so when we heard how quickly we were going to lose him.
"His intelligence, his humour, his wonderful voice and superb musicianship, his compelling presence on stage, the many roles he made his own – his Loge here is etched in the memory, and Lulu only last season – all these come to mind, together with the obvious pleasure he felt at singing in Harrison Birtwistle's The Minotaur, directed by his son Stephen. All these wonderful things about Philip will be sorely missed as well as his broad smile and great storytelling."
Birtwistle said: "I first encountered Philip Langridge in the 1960s as a member of the John Alldis Choir along with John Tomlinson. Since then I have had a more or less continuous working relationship with him which ended in his last Wigmore Hall recital, when I wrote a song for him. He was a unique artist-musician and his death leaves a large hole in the world's music."
Langridge was born in Hawkhurst, Kent. Over the years he has often been called the natural successor to another outstanding English tenor, Peter Pears, the partner of Britten, albeit a distinctive one.
He leaves a widow, the mezzo-soprano Ann Murray, and four children from his two marriages.»
Em quen linha se increverá Marcelo Álvarez: elegante-spinto, à la Corelli, ou mais bruto-spinto, à la Del Monaco?
É esperar para ver...
segunda-feira, 8 de março de 2010
(cena de O Ouro do Reno, Opéra National de Paris, Março de 2010)
A avaliar pela morna crítica, este prólogo - ora em cena na Bastilha - d' A Tetralogia de Wagner, não convence... Uma vez mais, a fragilidade de O Ouro do Reno, mais do que interpretativa e / ou vocal, parece decorrer de uma mise-en-scène avant-garde, démodée... Se é que o paradoxo me faz explicar: obcecada com a desconstrução e desvirtuamento, exploradora do sórdido e decadente.
J'en ai assez de cette sorte de mise-en-scène!
«Le metteur en scène Günter Krämer connaît son métier et s'y entend en dramaturgie : il n'ignore rien des rouages politiques de l'ouvrage et s'attache à les démonter avec une ironie moqueuse. Elle n'est pas déplacée dans ce prologue où les dieux sont de sacrés imposteurs et dont la suprématie repose sur la duplicité. Des dieux de pacotille qui règnent sur un faux globe terrestre et revêtent des bustes postiches.
Dans ce monde frelaté, les géants ouvriers sont des égoutiers avec casque et cagoule, formant un peuple révolutionnaire prêt à brandir le drapeau rouge pour s'affranchir. Dans ce monde de clans corrompus, où les filles du Rhin sont des cocottes à paillettes, Loge est un cabarettiste persifleur qui raille ces fieffés décadents, mais son costume est souillé d'avoir trop séjourné dans les ordures. Cette démythification est légitime mais guère nouvelle : typique de la plupart des mises en scène allemandes depuis trente ans, la démarche a quelque chose d'éculé. Si certaines images, comme l'avancée du Walhalla ou les effets de miroirs, sont fortes, l'esthétique relève plutôt d'un patchwork paresseux, non sans gros sabots.
On attendait beaucoup de Philippe Jordan et de l'Orchestre de l'Opéra de Paris. Le soir de la première, depuis le septième rang du parterre, on entendait une direction claire et fluide, mais aussi lointaine et lisse, impression liée tout à la fois à une fosse trop profonde et à une prudence qui nous privait de contrastes et de tension. Témoin le prélude, transparent mais sans progression. À suivre ! La distribution homogène et de qualité, avec en particulier l'Erda toujours époustouflante de Qiu Lin Zhang, mais aussi l'Alberich mordant et présent de Peter Sidhom, la Fricka généreuse et sensuelle de Sophie Koch, desservie par la mise en scène, deux ténors bêtes de scène (Kim Begley et Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke), deux basses de tout premier ordre (Iain Paterson et Günther Groissböck), le Wotan de Falk Struckmann se révélant le seul point faible par sa voix instable et terne.»